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A lot of us are still working from home, and even if we’ve finally gotten the hang of Zoom, it’s still kind of weird knowing you’re being seen on video, isn’t it?

No matter how many video conferences we’ve had to sit through this year, there’s always a few nagging questions everyone has: “will my kids and/or pet make an embarrassing noise at an important moment?” “How is my clothing and hair?” “Will my internet last through this?” “How messy is the room I’m broadcasting from?”

While there’s only so much we can do about stopping the dogs from barking at a very important client, we can help you get your home office a little more presentable for video meetings, not to mention more useful and organized overall:

 

Set Up Your Home Office for Video Meetings

It’s probably safe to work under the assumption that you already have some sort of functioning “home office” at this point, or at least a side room that can be reliably used during the workday as an office. It’s also probably safe to say that, with as off-guard as we were all caught during the whole pandemic thing, you didn’t really have a lot of time to think about it aesthetically or get it organized in a way that’s visually pleasing as well as functional. If you’re still working at home by this point, now is the perfect time!

 

One of the first and most obvious problems people encounter with online meetings is a lack of light. This one can be a little tough depending on the placement of your home office desk, but it’s a problem that can typically be solved by removing obstructions. Keep your windows free of any tall shelves or anything that could block the light, and try to angle your desk lamps/room lighting where it won’t create a glare or shine right in anyone’s eyes, but will still provide enough illumination for people to see you.

 

We joked about the barking dogs earlier, but soundproofing is crucial for home offices as well. If your office has a door that can be closed, keep it shut as often as possible during meetings – but if that’s not an option, try to rearrange some of your larger furniture like bookshelves around your work area to create a ‘buffer’ that will absorb some of the sound. (This is also a great way to better define your given work area, in the event that you don’t have an entire room to turn into an office.)

 

From there, you’ll need to focus on looks, and that includes a clear line of sight for your webcam. Depending on how exactly you show up in your video meetings (whether you have a clip-on webcam on top of your monitor, or you’re just using the one built into your laptop) you’ll want to make sure the focus is on you, and not some cluttered pencil holder or cup of coffee juuuuust outside of the frame. Use some desk organizers to keep the clutter under control and out of the view of your meeting partners.

 

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun with it, so remember to focus on the parts of your office that show up in the meeting. You don’t have to go nuts with reorganizing the furniture or cleaning the floor, but hanging up a few of your favorite movie posters in the background or using wall shelves to show off some of your favorite stuff behind you just might make the meetings a little more fun!

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